The Tactics Arsenal could use to shell-shock Chelsea….


It is perhaps too early to speculate after just one game, but Arsenal have lost at home to Manchester City 2-0. It means they did not breech the goal of their opposition. It means their defense conceded twice and it means top four is quickly becoming a goal just a bit too far, especially when all our top rivals won their matches.

Shake Up Things
Unai Emery had the opportunity to shake up things but chose to largely stick with the Arsenal of the old. He named Laurent Koscielny as Captain 1, Petr Cech Captain 2, Aaron Ramsey Captain 3, Mesut Ozil Captain 4 and Granit Xhaka Captain 5. Some of these players despite their long association with Arsenal have been associated with what is the bad seasons at Arsenal and it can only be like rewarding mediocrity. Instead Emery should have named just Petr Cech captain after Koscielny and reserved the other 3 slots for performance rewards and players that perform exceptionally in the next month would have been named.

Arsenal have been known to give curious good contracts to players not doing very well. Arsenal have also been known to try pleasing players who seem to have ambivalence like what Ramsey is now doing and that may have negative effects on other players. We can all remember Alexis Sanchez. In the end, Xhaka looks like he will be starting, Mustafi looks like he will still be keeping his uninspiring performances in the first team.

Fire Power Poorly Deployed
In Aubameyang, Lacazette, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Ramsey and a host of young players like Nelson Reiss, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah, among others, Arsenal should have arguably the best fire power in the division. Yet Arsenal are struggling to score just like they have done in the past with Arsene Wenger in charge. How come we could only muster 3 on target out of 8 shots and they had 16 shots with 7 on target? Arsenal may not have specialist wingers but they have players who can put in very effective wing shifts. Unai Emery must find an effective frontal powder keg mixture for explosive firepower, really fast. Ozil for instance playing out of position make him rather a liability in the proceedings. Arsene Wenger was key in keeping Giroud and Sanchez away from each other by preferring to play one or the other many times. He also started by playing Aubameyang or Lacazette rather than the two together until late in the season and Unai has started in reign in the same fashion.

Bench Power
Certainly, against Manchester City, Unai had his best players on the bench and this was clear when Lucas Toreirra and Alexandre Lacazette came in and brought more industry into the game. Making one wonder why keep the best plan away from the match, and start with a plan that should be the alternative, just in case the first did not work and not the other way around. Bench power is not about waiting to deploy the best but rather players who can fit in the first XI when someone in the best team suffers loss of form, injury or is ineffective against a particular team.

Finally, the play pattern remains the same and Unai must have missed an opportunity to pull the rabbit from the hat and surprise Manchester City. He should have learned from that baptism of fire and should make up for it against Chelsea and avoid developing an Arsene 2.0 calm and undisturbed management policy, where everyone knows the team sheet for the next match and the pattern of play.

My preferable play pattern and the players would be a variation of 3.5.2


Let’s forget we have Xhaka and Mustafi in our line up. The better this is resolved quickly the better. Let’s stop the appeasement of Aaron Ramsey and let him win back his place, rather than we string to give him prominence. In this lineup Mhkitaryan and Ozil share a double false 9 roles. Nelson will have a free role to run in all the wings and will be subbed in second half by Emile Rowe Smith in the same role. The kids can run around and Mkhitaryan will have the role to help out in the wings. Lacazette and Aubameyang will also play roles in respective wings and share out the striking roles. Ozil and Mkhitaryan can arrive to strike when opportunity opens. It’s a mobile frontal charge capable of pressing and playing at the best capabilities of the squad. If need be Xhaka or Elneny could come in to tighten the midfield further with Nelson giving way. The triple anchor in the midfield would hold the ball in the centre to wait for openings rather than let it run into our defensive areas. This is a risk worth taking against Chelsea and I suspect it would work.

Manchester city was an opportunity lost to try something unique.



  1. Bryan says:

    I think Arsenal will get a draw against Chelsea on Saturday.

    1. Arnold B Ngereza says:

      Please do not waste your time to put in reiss nelson that will be a joke is not ready for 1st team, we wasted this transfer window for not bring in two wingers and one playmaker and we will pay a price for that its pretty much wenger strategy – and if money used to be a problem we will find out this time since kroenke will have 100% control if things are not going the way we expect – we have a weapon – do not attend any games stadium half filled he will think twice! enough is enough Liverpool and manucity went through this before they become better teams.

  2. Grandad says:

    All the top teams in Europe deploy a flat back four system including g Chelsea under their new Manager.That apart i readily agree with your suggestion to leave out Mustafi and in particular Xhaka who was abysmal against Man City.Whenever Monreal is fit we must use AMN in midfield where his composure and athleticism is badly needed.

  3. Pablo Picasso says:

    – We need to pass faster especially in the final third.
    – Press as a unit like in the 2nd half.
    – Practice long range shooting especially around the D.
    – Pump the ball forward should Chelsea’s press like City.

    ——————–Cech ———
    Bellarin —Sokratis — Mustaphi — Monreal
    Mkhitaryan—— Ozil ——Aubameyang

    4 – 2 – 3 – 1

    1. gunner 23 says:

      Good 11 this is my preferred line up .

      1. Ashburton Grove says:

        Agree apart from Cech. He’s an absolute f**kin donkey. He should have retired last season.
        Sell Ramsey asap and introduce AMN, Smith-Rowe and Nketiah as frequently as possible in the second half. These kids will run riot and are unpredictable for opposition.
        Drop Ozil if he can’t keep up with the PL pace. Sick of these idiots making excuses for him just like they did for Wenger season after season.

  4. kstixx says:

    this is a pretty dumb line up and formation you have there. nelson, a winger playing in the middle and that back three? it’s funny how people think real life football is the same as playing fantasy football. I for one I’m happy that emery used ramsey and xhaka just for them to prove to him that they were not what he thought. it’s only when emery starts to play them more regularly that i would start to have issues with emery and his plan for arsenal. but i doubt he’s a wenger 2.0, as he realized he was wrong trusting ramsey and xhaka by removing them in the second half despite havinh one compulsory substitution in AMN. stubborn wenger would have kept ramsey and xhaka on for 90mins and removed guendouzi for torreira in the 75th minute, then aubameyang for lacazette in the 80th minute. I know wenger that well. phewwww, I’m glad that mediocre of a coach is long gone.

    1. Phil says:

      If you followed Reiss Nelson as a Youth Team player he was predominantly a Central Attacking idfielder with a free role.Its only since he was introduced to the first team that he has played as a Wing Back or Winger.It was always felt his best position was as a No 10

    2. jon fox says:

      Wenger ? A mediocre coach? Oh come on , surely you must know that WENGER WAS NO COACH AT ALL. HE NEVER COACHED THE DEFENCE, FOR CERTAIN! He was an abysmal coach, at best rating.

    3. Sarmmie says:

      Thank you, I don’t know what he must have planned for him to use Ramsey at 10 and oil as a winger, but I’m sure he must have had a plan, even though it didn’t work.
      But he changed them, he brought off the under performers in good time, Wenger wouldn’t have, or maybe in the dying minutes, though.
      I’ll only blame him for those selections if he persists next game.

    4. Hackinubee says:

      The team will even get relegated in Football Manager not to talk of real life!!! His team selection and formation is a joke!!

  5. Sue says:

    “The top 4 is quickly becoming a goal just a bit too far” ……. Oh my god we’ve played just one game!! Against the best team in the country!! We have a new manager… just give him a break!! Jesus I’m sick of all this negativity… if you’re a gooner support the team, if not sod off elsewhere! Yes I hate it when we lose & I think Emery should have played certain players & benched others, but what do I know!! His decision is final & I stick by him! COYG let’s go & beat Chelsea

    1. Declan says:

      Agree with you Sue, some of these article writers are doing my head in with their negative attitudes. How the hell are we going to catch up now? We are 3 points behind! Sack the manager! Sack the board!
      As for suggesting Bellerin at left back and Nelson in the middle wtf?

      1. Sue says:

        The comments I’ve had at work Declan coming from Liverpool fans!! Jesus!! I said shut up… Klopp’s had 5 years to win something & hasn’t, Emery’s had 1 game!!!!
        Maybe I shouldn’t read all those articles on Arsenal news, as they’re stressing me out ?

        1. Phil says:

          Sue I take it these are Liverpool fans from London are they?

          1. Gunner23 says:

            Sue Arsenal Tv was the same negativity to the max… I got old watching all those guys till Lee Gunner spoke sense.

          2. Sue says:

            It was indeed!! Although Claude made me laugh when he said Ramsey was about as useful as Gordon Ramsay ??
            Yes he did speak sense & that is exactly how I felt/feel ?

          3. Sue says:

            No…. from Oxfordshire

    2. Craig Barrett says:

      I don’t understand the negativity either. There is certainly change in how we are pressing. I think things by mis season will be going very smoothly. Give change a chance. Support the team .

      1. ozziegunner says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. Not saying Unai Emery had as good a squad but Conte lost his first few games, including 3-0 against Arsenal at the Emirates, then went on to win the league. It’s a good thing Chelsea fans didn’t want Conte sacked after the loss to Arsenal.

  6. Innit says:

    I like it, Except
    swap Monreal for Bellerin
    swap Niles for Nelson
    swap Mustafi for Sokratis

  7. CannonSpike says:

    Totally agree with Pablo Picasso’s bar Cech, & Bellerin.
    I would go with this against Chelsea: 4-2-3-1

    1. Naija Gunner says:

      I agree with your line up. Though I would include Nelson, Iwobi and AMN among the subs

    2. RSH says:

      i like this lineup as well and hope it’s what we go with. Idk about Ozil still though. Are we keeping him in there because he is a player with a high reputation or we don’t have anyone better? Both? Guy has a terrible track record in big games and his Arsenal career is all over the place. I wouldn’t mind experimenting with different options in that position.

  8. Naija Gunner says:

    Sorry to digress a bit but I think that our “Diamond Eye” has a big role to play in making sure we make the best use of our penny pinching recruitment strategy. Why can’t we tow along the lines of Monaco, Ajax, Seville, Valencia Dortmund etc. If we can attract high quality signings at cheap cost just like these clubs without selling them, we will definitely be world beaters. Believe me, there will always be an Mbappe, Dembele or a Bailey at any point in time, he just has to utilize his Diamond eyes to notice them first.

    1. ozziegunner says:


  9. Tatgooner says:

    this is the problem with this club.
    one of either ozil mikki and laca have to be on the bench for issues of balancing the team. They cannot all start together.
    we need players to drive the team foward and an active midfield that acts as a medium between defence and attack.our defense is exposed because they have to do the midfielder’s job and an attack which only relies on delivery means everyone moves foward to try and score.
    best lineup if monreal is not yet fit
    bellerin mustafi sokratis lichtsteiner
    torreira guendouzi
    iwobi ozil auba

    1. msty says:

      bellerin mustafi sokratis lichtsteiner
      torreira guendouzi
      iwobi ozil auba
      this should be our starting 11 agaist Chelsea am 99% sure… only doubt is iwobi bt he can run with the ball with strength something both ozil and mihki cant.. beside iwobi laca and auba can execute the press better

      1. RSH says:

        I’d rather Miki CAM than Ozil at this point tbh.

        1. Ashburton Grove says:


    2. msty says:

      bellerin mustafi sokratis lichtsteiner
      torreira guendouzi
      iwobi ozil auba
      this should be our starting 11 agaist Chelsea am 99% sure… only doubt is iwobi bt he can run with the ball with strength something both ozil and mihki cant.. beside iwobi laca and auba can execute the press better

  10. Gifted says:

    imho this is our best team when everyone is fit
    Lich. Mustafi. papa. Monreal
    AMN. Torreira. Guendouzi
    Nelson. Laca. Auba

    That way, our midfield will be able to control games with the 3 young boys while upfront we have pace on the wings in Nelson and Auba. Laca is the fox in the box

  11. auar says:

    litch …. sokratis…..mustafi….monreal





  12. jon fox says:

    Nicholas, you should be ashamed of yourself for asking such a silly question “is Emery just a Wenger continuum?” You know full well they are totally different in almost every way, so why insult our intelliegence with such nonsense? Seriously, do you think we are all so silly as you are? If you can’t do better than this you should not write an article ever again, as you have no clue. Which makes YOU more like Wenger in every way than Emery could ever be!

    1. Me says:

      I think people on here can think for themselves and can generate their own opinions without the need to denigrate others to enforce their own opinions…
      So please, for your own sake stop trying to be intelligent and clever “Jon Fox” because you simply are not.
      There is an old saying that applies to you “it is better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”
      Think about it – take all the time you need…

  13. Me says:

    Oh my god we have got to win on Saturday to get our title challenge going.
    Dear god.
    Give me the strength to cope with Arsenal fans…
    What would a win, draw or defeat to Chelsea have on our season?
    Does anyone actually BELIEVE we can achieve top four status much less challenge?
    A scum bag foreign investor with NO interest in winning trophies.
    A manager who was chosen simply because he was the cheapest option.
    A third rate squad of players.
    Mediocre bordering on pointless signings made over the summer.
    And to top it off the one person who could have led us to glory has now sold his shares and plans to invest in Everton – another team that will soon push us further back.
    I see NO hope for Arsenal.
    None what so ever.
    Give it up – stop talking shite and make a stand for the club you support because very soon it will be made abundantly clear that Wenger was NOT the problem…

    1. jon fox says:

      Trolls, like you, are not welcome on here!

      1. jhud says:

        yes we may lose to chelsea. our record there is not flash. yes we will be at the bottom of the table. does that mean the season is over. far from it. a true supporter will still be there. this season is about rebuilding a team under a new manager. so as long as there is improvement during the season we are heading i the right direction. dont expect anything this season and you wont be disappointed. support the team and manager as they rebuild. and Sue just ask those liverpool supporters how long its taken klopp to win nothing so far. it takes time so lets enjoy the season and support our team through thick and thin.

  14. NewEra says:

    3-5-2….i appreciate your football mind but i can’t agree with your line up
    -Bellerin in the middle will be a disaster
    -Bellerin is a short player and can’t win aerial duels. Against Chelsea where Morata or Giroud will be their strikers…Bellerin will be the weak link
    -Lichsteiner is best when play as fullback
    -Nelson in midfield?
    In this tactics Chelsea will run riot.

  15. Kiss My Arsenal says:

    Yeah I thought the manager made some really poor decisions in his team selection. Didnt he see what happened last season?

    To me it looks like not enough research has gone into the team otherwise players like xhaka would never start.

    Also do managers have it in for Lacazette? He’s been great pre season yet left on the bench for a misfiring Mikhitarian. His goal record is the best at the club yet benched. Its quite puzzling.

    With the correct team selection we would have won that game. He is new so I will give him the benefit of the doubt but I hope he rectifies his selection quickly instead of playing players who dont deserve it in wierd decisions.

    Ozil, Mikhitarian and Xhaka should not start another game for now. Disappointing.

  16. Kiss My Arsenal says:

    Also Mikhitarian has shown last season he plays better in central midfield and not on the wing. Surely someone should let Emery know these things.

  17. Kenya001 says:

    What next now! Guess its win or burst against chelsea right?

  18. TH14-TW14 says:

    “Yet Arsenal are struggling to score just like they have done in the past with Arsene Wenger in charge”.

    Arsenal were the third highest scoring side (74) last season only behind City and Liverpool. If anything, Arsenal’s attack has been among the best in in the EPL for the last two decades. You can criticise our defensive display but to write this above shows that their is a campaign to discredit Wenger which is really horrible.

    All we hear is how Emery has already “improved” Arsenal before even kicking a ball. Guendozi is already being touted a “shrewd” signing but most forget that a cheaper Holding had a wonderful first season contributing immensely to beating Chelsea in the FA cup final while shutting Diego Costa up. Today, many are unsure if he would develop into a great defender or not. Same applies to Guendozi, even more so, becuase he hasn’t played more than a game yet.

    For all the doom and gloom last season, Arsenal had the second best home record only behind City by a single win(15 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats), beating all sides outside the top 5 at home. It would be very hard to better that home performance. Emery has to improve the away record which I am sure would have improved even under Wenger. Arsenal lost many games that they dominated last season not necessarily down to tactics but the negative spiral that started in January. I believe the win record will improve but let that not be undermined by home performance.

    At last, the truth is that it will not be until May before anyone can evaluate what contributions Emery has made.

  19. Angus says:

    The best firepower in the division? City have Aguero, Jesus, Sane, Sterling, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Silva, Mendy etc. and the likes of Foden/Diaz are every bit as good as Nelson/Nketiah c’mon be serious.

    1. JJPawn says:

      How much did that cost? Who created the core?

      1. Angus says:

        I was arguing about the author saying we have the best firepower in the league. We don’t. Didn’t say anything else. Doesn’t really matter what it cost, it’s better. It’s not like Untied, Liverpool or Chelsea are lacking for attacking depth either.

  20. Uchman says:

    I stopped reading immediately he said ” the team was struggling to score goals just like under wenger” WTF since wenger came to arsenal no team has scored more goals than arsenal. Not even man u, as for Jon fox, ur hatred for wenger can’t change facts, that mediocre coch wenger was crowned the best coach in the word for a whole decade ahead of the likes of Sir Alex and mourinho, the same mediocre wenger is still the highest winner of onze d’or, a record 4 times ahead of d likes of Sir Alex and mourinho, I can boldly tel u that it might take another 100 years before a manager of afc will be decorated with those honours, no amount of propaganda and lies can change facts

  21. JJPawn says:

    Emery is no genius. Nor, is he Wenger, who made this club great and a global brand…

    Let us face it, Emery was outplayed by Pep.

    We know the game was lost in the transition from the back to the front as Emery asked for the ball to be played through rather than Czech’s long balls on occasion. It meant the back four had a lot to do, and they suffered by playing into City’s press, and it was embarrassing. The game was lost right there strategically with Arsenal unable to really generate attacks starving the forwards of the ball.

    Along with that the game was lost tactically as Areta saw the space via the wingers to drift into the center and score.

    Basically, most people here have not clue about coaching or managing.

    Emery was really poor. You can see why he did not make it to the next level, but moved to Arsenal.

    That said, we are stuck with him. So, I hope he has the wisdom to adjust and we see some mid-field changes. Ozil has to be use as a number 10, or there is no point in having him in the team. Do not try to punish player like Ramsay after not having a proper game plan. Try to reward players like Welbeck, that is good thinking, as he will play the pressing game well. Do not use Mkhi and Ozil together, it makes no sense.

    Next game against Chelsea:

    4231 (with option of bringing the ball up, or use the space behind the press to play long ball).

    (Ramsay and Auba just have to be fast in attacking once the get the ball, either through the build-up or via a Czech long pass.)

    OR, I prefer 3-4-1-2, where the ball is slowly passed up in a build-up and if they press, Czech send medium passes to the wings to bring up the ball double quick to the front three. Welbeck and Ramsay clog the wings with a press game and at midfield, it is basically well manned it is hard to get through for Chelsea. Torreira has to out Hazard out of the game.

    Laca and Auba together should be the two primary targets for Ozil. Let Ozil play as a creative player without the garbage of English football and its “toughness”. (When England win a World Cup we can listen to English fans who like their style.)

    Emery should let let Czech be the General he is, rather than humiliate the Goal Keeper with an assignment that twas poisoned. Czech should decide when to go long ball and when to start the attack from the back.

  22. Dexter says:

    I’m fine with any lineup that don’t have Ramsey and bellerin in it. And I’m beginning to hate seeing ozil in our lineup too

  23. larymurt says:

    The issues here is not the problem of players but should be depend on the tactics of the opponent. But the team formation should be two depends on the opponent tactics because City used our weaknesses against us due to lack of energy, not fall back of our wingers to assist the fullbacks and loneliness of our striker until lacassette was introduce. 3.5.2 formation,, 4.3.3 or 4.4.2.
    Mustafi. Sokratics. Holding
    Lichsteiner. Goundouzi. Toreira. Montreal
    Lacassette. Aubameyang.
    Lichsteiner. Mustafi. Sokratics. Montreal
    Goundouzi. Toreira
    Iwobi. Ozil. Aubameyang
    Lichsteiner. Mustafi. Sokratics. Montreal
    Goundouzi. Toreira. Elneny
    Micktaryan. Lacassette. Aubameyang

    Lichsteiner. Mustafi. Sokratics. Montreal
    Iwobi. Goundouzi. Toreira. Micktaryan
    Lacassette. Aubameyang

  24. Zaidy James says:

    JJ u have Ramsey and welback as wing backs.
    Hazard and Willian will be licking their lips at that. We need a flat back four and play one striker and put a extra body in midfield to close down Chelsea midfield faster

Comments are closed